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Question
Posted by: adam | 2011/03/17

what to allow in dog who''s bossy

I can only describe my latest acquisition to my " dog pack"  as bossy. I do not know anything about his previous home. He physically pushes the other dogs around, he sometimes pushes me with his nose, he pushes ahead through doorways, and he makes it clear he doesn''t like being told what to do. I am afraid this could become outright aggression towards me and the other dogs. 1) Do I allow the pack hierarchy to work itself out or do I nip his bossiness in the bud? If I don''t I can see fighting ahead. 2) My instinct is to treat him just as he treats me, i.e. I become the bossy one. But I do not want to provoke worse behaviour from him.

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageDog Behaviour Expert

Hi Adam, you are right to be concerned. Please read the two questions prior to yours which will give you more insight in addition to the answer below.

At the end of the day, you and all members of your family should be in charge and say what is and isnt allowed and have firm House Rules in place such as - Ignore demanding behaviour - attention is awarded on your terms or not at all - Put the dogs on work to earn regime - teach dogs to sit and wait etc. A qualified behaviourist will help you to sort all of these out esily. It is a bit of hard work initially and consistency is the key, but it will become a way of life and lead to a happy pack.

The one thing that will not work is violence or bossiness - all that breeds is more violence and more bossiness/demanding behaviour. You need to learn how and why a dog acts in the way it does and bring in the appropriate changes. I would suggest getting in somebody to help you. You are obvisiously a concerned owner wonderful!) and in my eyes, prevention is always better than cure so do get somebody in to help you sort this out. Thanks Scotty

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Our users say:
Posted by: Dog Behaviour Expert | 2011/03/17

Hi Adam, you are right to be concerned. Please read the two questions prior to yours which will give you more insight in addition to the answer below.

At the end of the day, you and all members of your family should be in charge and say what is and isnt allowed and have firm House Rules in place such as - Ignore demanding behaviour - attention is awarded on your terms or not at all - Put the dogs on work to earn regime - teach dogs to sit and wait etc. A qualified behaviourist will help you to sort all of these out esily. It is a bit of hard work initially and consistency is the key, but it will become a way of life and lead to a happy pack.

The one thing that will not work is violence or bossiness - all that breeds is more violence and more bossiness/demanding behaviour. You need to learn how and why a dog acts in the way it does and bring in the appropriate changes. I would suggest getting in somebody to help you. You are obvisiously a concerned owner wonderful!) and in my eyes, prevention is always better than cure so do get somebody in to help you sort this out. Thanks Scotty

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